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back to article Ofcom caught between picts and luvvies on 600MHz

Ofcom has published responses to its digital dividend consultation, but respondents seem more interested in feathering their own nests than contributing to the future of broadcasting. This consultation only covers the lower part of the dividend, and the interleaved spectrum (white spaces), asking stakeholders what the regulator …

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I'm surprised BT haven't waded in with this for its use

http://www.metering.com/node/18538

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Why would they?

Smartmetering operates perfectly well over existing mobile networks. Dedicating a whole band to smartmetering would mean unnecessary work in repeating the coverage of the existing mobile phone networks.

Wholesale SMS prices are negligible (whereas consumer SMS is the most expensive data delivery mechanism known to man).

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Value

Won't the interleaving cause trouble when the digital signals are turned up to full power? My understanding is that they are currently on low power to avoid co-channel interference with the analogue signals, so it seems reasonable to assume that the reverse will be true after switch-over. Will they be worth anything to anyone, in other words..?

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Unhappy

If there's one thing we DON'T need

It's more TV channels

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Anonymous Coward

broadcast wifi

Surely they could kick off the future by using it to broadcast over wifi technology. This way, wifi can have more bandwidth and we all get more channels. Eventually the DVB broadcasts can stop and widen the available bandwidth further still.

Someone somewhere must have done a dissertation on this and fully explored the options?

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BBC Alba

"BBC Alba reckons the spectrum should be given to BBC Alba, at least in Scotland - as if the Gaels aren't getting enough of subsidy for a Gaelic-language TV station."

Well they aren't. BBC Alba can't afford to make dramas and they only get a couple of hours of original programming a week, and that programming will be on two or three times in a week.

"The Gaels" are quite explicitly not being subsidised as the BBC Trust have set audience targets of about 3 times as many as the number of Gaelic speakers in the world, and the channel can't be received by half of the people who *do* speak Gaelic, because it's still not on cable or Freeview

A friend of mine used to work in Gaelic TV production, but she's now moved to an English-language production house where her colleagues are absolutely stunned by the pitiful budget she had to work with in her last job.

They've done great things with the money they've got, but the channel is still drastically limited.

There's a tendency to talk about budgets as though they should all be proportional -- well they can't be.

Just as children use more of the schools budget than adults, and people with dry skin are more of a burden on NHS dermatology budgets than people with healthy skin, so Gaelic is a more expensive proposition for TV than English, because the market is smaller, and they don't make Gaelic soaps in Australia or Gaelic sitcoms in the USA. BBC Alba is a public service broadcaster, and public service broadcasters live off public money. Simple as that.

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BBC Alba - a total waste of money

Thank fuck BBC Alba only gets money for 2 or 3 three hours of bagpipes and shortbread broadcasting every week. BBC Alba's ratings are too low to even measure.This is public money getting pissed down the drain. And it's costing tens of thousands per viewer-hour. It would be cheaper to put on a weekly live show in Gaelic at a theatre and FLY in every Gaelic speaker in Scotland to see it.

There are more Urdu or Hebrew speakers in Scotland than there are Gaelic speakers. But they don't get their own TV channel funded by the Beeb. The Gaels could barely fill Hampden Park.

BTW, you say BBC Alba is "not being subsidised" and then say it lives off public money. Do you know the meaning of the word "subsidy?

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Read what I wrote.

article: "as if the Gaels aren't getting enough of subsidy"

me: "they aren't" = they aren't getting enough.

Yes they get a subsidy, no they don't get enough.

Urdu, Hindi, Hebrew, French, German, Spanish, Polish... whatever language you care to mention, there are channels available on satellite, cable and the internet. The Urdu community don't need a BBC Urdu channel, because they've already got stuff to watch.

There's practically no Gaelic outside of Scotland, so Scotland is the only country producing Gaelic TV.

As for the "bagpipes and shortbread" comment... you clearly haven't watched the channel much. It is not an extended White Heather Club, it is a TV channel for a general audience. Yes, there's a lot of music output, but that's because music TV is relatively cheap. Yes, most of that's Scottish music, but then Scottish music is cheaper than pop particularly when they piggyback onto existing festivals and awards, as BBC Alba currently do. (And Scottish music is also much more likely to be available in Gaelic!)

The BBC's English channels have some great output -- particularly BBC3's Mongrels -- but much of their stuff would be successful commercially (eg Strictly Come Dancing) and isn't really fulfilling a "public service" role.

I love the BBC and have no problem with paying a license fee to maintain it, but if it wasn't for legislation and public money, nobody would be making Gaelic programming. Public service should be about making programmes no-one else would make, and Gaelic programming falls squarely into this category.

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Stop

Already used for DVB-T overseas

According to the spreadsheet I got from France's equivalent to Ofcom, the CSA, they plan to use UHF channels 31 to 39 for 1,237 multiplexes of 9,288 total. Six multiplexes per site, a few sites have a seventh mux, called R15 in CSA's document but L8 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C3%A9l%C3%A9vision_Num%C3%A9rique_Terrestre.

There is EU-wide agreement to clear channels 61 and 62 for 800 MHz phones, meaning that users of sites that are using these channels over here will have to retune at some point in the future. There is no agreement on releasing the 600 MHz channels across Europe and there isn't likely to be one. The UK should not be trying to go it alone with an incompatible frequency range.

Many countries need more UHF channels for their digital switchover because they previously still used some VHF channels in Band I (47-88MHz) and Band III (174-230MHz), and these are now to be cleared EU-wide. We turned off TV transmissions - 405-line black-and-white - in Band I and III in 1985, but other countries used these channels for 625-line colour. DAB is designed to use Band III.

Converting terrestrial TV to HD will require more multiplexes, as the physical layer chosen in the UK is incompatible (DVB-T2 rather than DVB-T) and you can only reasonably get four channels into one multiplex in the chosen mode, at the moment. Five might just be possible in a few years, or if the quality is allowed to suffer the way that some of the commercial SD multiplexes have, but there's little point advertising 'HD' resolution and still having horrible compression artifacts.

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Anonymous Coward

required letters but no numbers at this time

Seems to make sense then to dump everything TV into this, as dvb-t(2) hd, and free up the rest for perhaps something else. If not, why not?

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its simple, use it for New Open long range and far more Wifi channels than now

its simple, use it for New Open long range and far more Wifi channels than we have now, none of this lets sell everything we can get our hands on to the highest commercial bidder.

give the airwaves BACK to the average people to use, and let the new bands interact longer range over far more channels and widths in cheap 11n.

ranges of 1,5,and 10 miles ranges etc are more than doable officially at lower power and wanted by community projects all across the country for far more and higher bit-rates and point to many point, as the current prices for the long range kit and on going rental costs in other private bands are FAR outside most end users/community's.

its simple dont sell these bands , give them back to us, and so give incentive to the worlds low cost OEM's to make new and expandable Bonded wireless Ethernet 11n and related kit in these released bands, and ACTUALLY ENCOURAGE some real Innovation as people want to actually buy this longer range and faster REAL throughput kit with far more stand alone channels no stinkin overlap as in antiquated 11g and its crappy 3 real channels.

and perhaps see Many local wireless mini Co-Locations sites popping up all around the country that can be subsidized in different ways to pay for New dark and light Fibre installations in abandoned council buildings converted to these Co-Location community backbones.

we dont need no stinking data mining BT, we have wireless, let us use far more of it long for long range super wide backbone into and expanding the EU internet2/IPv6 etc and Real Last Mile (as in, it can actually reach a mile at full speed upload and more to the local co-location site )and work with local business and councils to expand and grow to everywhere in the UK .

"Ofcom reckons businesses might be interested in making use of both bands, but can't decide if they should be auctioned off together or separately."

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